A series of short stories by Ryk E. Spoor
in which everyday hero Jason Wood battles mythological monsters with modern technical know-how. The first six stories originally appeared in Digital Knight
, published by Baen Books
in 2003. Three more are available free online. Paradigms Lost
, released in December 2014, incorporates greatly expanded and revised versions of the first eight stories.
The Jason Wood stories make up part of a multiverse that includes Phoenix Rising
- Gone in a Flash (vampires)
- Lawyers, Ghouls, and Mummies (exactly what it says on the tin)
- Photo Finish (werewolves)
- Viewed in a Harsh Light (The Reptilians)
- Live and Let Spy
- Mirror Image (basilisks)
- Shadow of Fear (things that go bump in the night)
- Trial Run
- Bait and Switch
Tropes in the Jason Wood series:
- Big Bad: Virigar, the Werewolf King
- Big Red Button: In "Bait and Switch", the emergency button that triggers the anti-werewolf measures is described as being bright red and twice as large as any other button on the control panel.
- Catapult Nightmare: Jason has one in "Bait and Switch".
- Character Name Alias: The werewolf in "Bait and Switch" introduces himself as Cheney Lugosi, in homage to The Wolf Man (in which Lon Chaney, Jr stars as a man who becomes a werewolf after being bitten by another werewolf played by Bela Lugosi).
- Courtroom Episode: "Trial Run" has Jason defending a werewolf in court, mainly because he wants to establish the precedent that non-humans have rights. After successfully proving that his client's killing a would-be rapist armed with a silver-alloy knife qualified as legitimate self-defense, he has her re-arrested for some unjustifiable killings she had committed.
- Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire: Verne Domingo in "Gone in a Flash" and Father Jonathan Turner in "Live and Let Spy".
- Horrifying the Horror: Even other monsters are terrified of Virigar.
- I Gave My Word: Werewolves take oaths made in the king's name very seriously... because anyone who breaks any such oath without Virigar's explicit permission will have to answer to him.
- Immune to Bullets: Pretty much every kind of supernatural menace. Lampshaded in "Mirror Image":
"I should have known, I should have known, you can never kill a monster with bullets, never, it's in the friggin' Monster Union Rules!"
- Inhumanable Alien Rights: "Trial Run" establishes the legal precedent that non-humans have the same legal right to self-defense as humans - and the same right to be prosecuted for acts of violence which do not fall under the legal definition of self-defense.
- Just Toying with Them: In "Trial Run", Virigar explicitly says he could kill Jason any time he likes, but that would be "unamusing".
- Magical Database: Jason Wood is told that he can't find out stuff about vampires from a nice cross-indexed database somewhere, so he sets out to create one himself.
- The Multiverse: the Jason Wood stories are set in an Earth similar to ours, but there is a severed connection to Zarathan, the world of Phoenix Rising.
- Never Heard That One Before: "Wanda Beers, and don't make any jokes about her name unless you can figure out one she won't have heard a thousand times before."
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Virigar, of Jason Wood. There are occasions when the only thing keeping Jason alive is the fact that Virigar is the monster that other monsters have nightmares about.
- Our Monsters Are Different: A standard of the series, including both Our Vampires Are Different and Our Werewolves Are Different.
- Patchwork Story: Digital Knight
- Playful Hacker: "The Jammer"
- Post-Modern Magik: The series is all about this.
- The Reptilians: In "Viewed in a Harsh Light".
- Silver Bullet: Jason Wood makes some silver bullets first to fight a vampire (which didn't work) and then a werewolf (which did). He ran out of silver bullets while fighting the werewolf king, and was forced to improvise.
- Spot the Impostor: Jason finds himself having to distinguish between his Friendly Neighborhood Vampire and a werewolf doppelganger. Having discovered by this point that silver bullets work on werewolves but not vampires, he just shoots both of them.
- Summation Gathering: Used in "Bait and Switch".
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: In "Shadow of Fear"
- The Time of Myths: In the backstory of the series; most of the supernatural stuff Jason encounters is connected to it one way or another, and some of the creatures are old enough to have personally been part of it.
- Unfazed Everyman: Jason Wood.
- The Unmasqued World: After the 'Morgantown Incident' in "Photo Finish", everybody knows about the werewolves. Other parts of the Masquerade also pass into public knowledge as the series progresses.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Werewolves, in this series, can take a variety of forms, and can imitate other people, down to their fingerprints and their DNA.